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By Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s Website
22 February 17
As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically do 7 things:
1. They exaggerate their mandate to govern – claiming, for example, that they won an election by a “landslide” even after losing the popular vote. They criticize any finding that they or co-conspirators stole the election. And they repeatedly claim “massive voter fraud” in the absence of any evidence, in order to have an excuse to restrict voting by opponents in subsequent elections.
2. They turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum,” and telling the public that the press is a “public enemy.” They hold few, if any, press conferences, and prefer to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements (or what we might now call “tweets”).
3. They repeatedly lie to the public, even when confronted with the facts. Repeated enough, these lies cause some of the public to doubt the truth, and to believe fictions that support the tyrants’ goals.
4. They blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias or even violence against them. They threaten mass deportations, “registries” of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees.
5. They attack the motives of anyone who opposes them, including judges. They attribute acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and use such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties.
6. They appoint family members to high positions of authority. They ppoint their own personal security force rather than a security detail accountable to the public. And they put generals into top civilian posts.
7.They keep their personal finances secret, and draw no distinction between personal property and public property – profiteering from their public office.
The best thing about Ubuntu is that you can do the right thing – and accept the regular updates … and suddenly find your system no longer works.
WINE improved itself a couple of days ago – and Kindle for PC no longer worked.
The problem seemed to be an unimplemented function msvcp90.dll.
The solution seemed to be given at WineHQ as a fix for a game that also needs the dll.
Down under xlive.dll FIX the following advice helped:
What to do:
Download msvcp90.dll from – HERE
Extract the DLL file and copy them into your C:/windows/system32 folder of wine (overwriting any file that may already be there)
Set msvcp90.dll to native
Also set msvcr90.dll to builtin
I also cleaned all the ‘manifest’ files out of
which don’t seem to add much. Advice Here
Simply removing the *.maifest files didn’t get Kindle running as was recommended.
Getting WiFi working on Dell Studio 1535 with Broadcom 4312 Chipset after upgrade from Unbuntu 11.04 to 11.10
I just upgraded my operating system from Ubuntu 11.04 to 11.10, and as usual it didn’t completely work. The Wifi was once again quiet. This makes it very hard to then get to the internet and fix things without having a second computer.
The ‘Addition Drivers’ app from the idiot Unity Interface presented me with the Broadcome STA drivers I had been using, but the install button only resulted in an error.
A search on a second computer found the following site:
which recommended removing “bcmwl-kernel-source” by using Synaptic Package Manager, then installing “firmware-b43-installer”.
The firmware installer required an internet connection to fetch – the Ubuntu Wifi Catch-22.
Using a second computer I located
and downloaded it to a USB stick and then installed that on the Dell Studio.
I could then follow the instructions to remove and install as above.
Rebooting computer got nothing – but I could go to the Additional drivers app and see the same old Broadcom STA drivers, and this time I was able to turn them on.
The ‘turn on’ was amazingly slow. A thrill to have to wait and wonder – will it work this time?
For complete report visit: Pew Research Center
Critics of President Obama never tire of blaming him for today’s high deficits. But if blame belongs with one president, it belongs with Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush. The chart above, which the New York Times created based upon figures from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, illustrates this point very clearly. But it’s worth reviewing the history here, because while it’s familiar to most of us who follow politics it doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention in the political debate.
By the end of the 1990s, the federal budget was in surplus for the first time in decades. Partly that was a product of unusually strong economic growth, during the internet boom, which had swelled tax revenues. But partly that was a product of responsible budgeting, presided over by the most recent two presidents, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In order to reduce deficits, lawmakers and those two presidents had agreed both to raise taxes and to reduce spending.
In the 2000 campaign, Clinton’s would-be successor, Al Gore, campaigned on a promise to, in effect, put those surpluses aside for a rainy day. Bush would have none of it. The government had too much money, he said; the responsible thing was to give it all back to the taxpayers. In office, he did just that, presiding over massive tax cuts that gave, by far, the largest benefits to the very wealthy. Bush promised that the tax cuts would act like a “fiscal straightjacket,” preventing government from growing. But then he, and his allies, launched two major wars and enacted a drug benefit for Medicare, all without paying for them.
Today’s fiscal gap is largely a product of those decisions, as the graph above shows. It has very little to do with anything Obama did while in office. In fact, the contrast between the two administrations could not be more striking. Obama’s primary undertaking has been comprehensive health care reform. But he insisted that it pay for itself, through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.
Of course, tomorrow’s deficit problem is a bit different from today’s. Looking decades into the future, it’s the rising cost of health care that seem likely to wreck federal finances. But health care reform addresses that too, by putting in places the policies and institutions necessary to curb spending on medical care.
This graph shows that $9.2 Trillion of the $12 Trillion supply-sider increase in national debt is considered problematic by economists. They say it is fine to increase the debt in step with national income. Republicans say the whole $12 Trillion is a problem.
The green line shows what would have happened if Reagan and the Bushes had just kept the debt growing at the same rate as the economy. That would make their parts flat. Many conservatives claim Congress increased Reagan’s budgets, but this is not the case as you can see documented here.
WWII caused the debt to shoot up, starting in 1942, and reach 30% higher relative to the country’s wealth than it is today. The economic stimulus of that government spending pulled us out of the great depression and into high gear to win the war.
The green line in the graph shows what would have happened if Reagan had proposed budgets that let the debt increase in step with inflation and the economy—if he had kept it at a constant fraction of GDP. That’s not much to ask of a president who said he’d do far better than those before him, since every previous post-war president had actually reduced the debt as a fraction of GDP.
By the end of the Reagan-Bush 12-year “revolution,” the extra debt they had piled on the country was costing the country an extra 2.6% of GDP in interest—$300 million a day. Without that interest working against him, Clinton would have paid down the debt a bit faster. That helps the green-line goes down in the Clinton years. That’s what would have happened without the Reagan-Bush interest burden.
Now if W. Bush had held the line as all non-supply side presidents had done, the national debt would have been only 21% of GDP, and the country would have been ready to pull itself out of the Great Recession with ease. In fact when W. Bush’s last budget year ended we would have had $9 Trillion less in debt.
So how did Reagan, the great debt-slasher, go so far wrong? Partly it was his belief in supply-side “economics.” This “theory” claims that when the government cuts taxes, especially taxes on corporations and the rich, it makes them so happy to keep more of their money that they work much harder, get richer, and pay even more taxes than before the tax cut. So the lower the tax rate, the more money the government collects to pay down the debt! Believe that happy talk, and you can run up quite debt.
Of course the rich loved this “theory” and fed the press many stories about the wonders of the new supply-side “economics” (cooked up by Laffer, as a graduate student). Money talks, and a lot of people listened. It’s time to rethink what radical conservatives have done and are doing to our country. The Reagan-Bushes National Debt now totals $9.2 trillion. That’s the lions share of our present debt.